Go to Sleep, Little Farm

Mary Lyn Ray, illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-15014-0
Ray’s (Stars) lullaby reads like a sequel to Goodnight, Moon, with the same offbeat humor and incantatory language extending to the farm and the forest beyond it. Animals are seen settling down for the night while a young bed goer in the farmhouse mirrors their actions. “Somewhere a beaver weaves a bed in a bog,/ Somewhere a bear finds a bed in a log.” Neal, in a reprise of the remarkable cutaway views of his Over and Under the Snow, shows the bulky bear at rest, while on the following page, the girl reads underneath her blankets, the mound of bedclothes echoing the curves of bear and log. The retro-style mixed-media artwork is created in the blues and roses of twilight, and the action swings between outside and inside. Repeated, pleasingly surreal lines of verse convey the sense of drifting into slumber: “Somewhere a worm sleeps in the dirt./ Somewhere a pocket sleeps in a skirt.” The worm emits delicate a row of z’s; so does the pocket. It’s a keeper. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/30/2014
Release date: 09/02/2014
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